Wondering just how much time until the start of the 2024 London Marathon?

... well wonder no more - the count down timer below shows you exactly how much (or how little) time you have left to get in your training.

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  • The 2024 London Marathon race will be back in April again - having been changed for October for 2021 & 2022 due to Covid.
  • The 2024 London Marathon mass start time is 10:00am (British Summer Time). It will likely be a waved start, as has been the case since covid.
  • There are 3 separate start points located in the Blackheath area
  • The 2020 London Marathon mass start was CANCELLED (there was a virtual race and an elites only race on the 4th October - more details below)

Ballot Entry

If you haven't entered the ballot for the 2024 race. You can do that from now until 21:00 (9pm) on Friday the 28th of April 2023.

Be quick - you have until the countdown timer below reaches zero to get your ballot application submitted:

If the above timer is displaying all zeros or blank - then you've missed your chance to get a ballot entry place for 2024.

If you're still keen to run the London marathon, you may be able to get a place through one of many charities. This will mean that you'll have to commit to raising a set amount in sponsorship money. Which may vary between different charities. But is usually around the £2,000 mark.

Ballot Results

Everyone that applied for a ballot place within the time window should receive an email before the end of October 2023. That email will tell you if you've been awarded a ballot entry place or not.

There will be no physical magazines sent in the post this year.

Virtual London Marathon 

Following on from 2020's world record breaking virtual event. As I suspected would be the case, the London Marathon have announced that there will be another Virtual Marathon this year.

So if you miss out on a 2023 ballot place and can't get a charity place either. You have another opportunity to get involved and get some London Marathon bling.
Those who are unsuccessful will be offered the chance to enter the virtual race at that point.

The cost will be £30 for UK residents and £40 for non-UK residents

Virtual London Marathon participants will need to upload their results data to the when they finish and should receive a finisher's medal and T-shirt through post within two weeks of doing so. Delivery time will likely be longer for those residing outside of the United Kingdom.

The TCS London Marathon

I've included some additional information about this iconic race below to give you a feel for what to expect on race day...

2020 was 40th Anniversary of the London Marathon

That's right - the London Marathon has been a regular fixture in the (Spring) marathon calendar for 4 decades! 2024 will be the 44th.

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    Other race start times

    Whilst the Elite Men's race and the mass start is at 10:00, there are several other races on the same day as follows:

  • 09:15 – Elite Wheelchair Races & World Para Athletics Marathon Championships Ambulant Athletes
  • 09:25 – The Elite Women's Race
  • There is also a 3 mile 'mini-marathon' children's (11 to 17 years of age) race that usually starts at 08:30 

Download a printable marathon day checklist

Want to make sure you arrive at the start line well prepared - with everything you'll need for a less stressful race experience? My handy checklist can help with that...

Course Maps

The London Marathon course takes in some of London's famous landmarks. So, running the race or indeed spectating can be a great opportunity to get in some sight seeing.

I've included the official course map of the entire race below, as well as the more detailed/larger scale maps of the Start and Finish.

Below those you can watch a timelapse video of the entire London Marathon course too.

Does the London Marathon have a time limit?

Yes it is 8 hours. This is because that is the limit of the road closures that are in place for race day. So the cut-off point is 17:30 (5:30 pm). But due to covid restrictions in 2021 & 2022 start waves were introduced which extended the official cut off time by well over an hour. It is expected that the wave starts will be in place for 2023 as well.

Is there an age limit for runners?

Yes there is a minimum age - all entrants MUST be at least 18 on race day. However, here is NO upper age limit. So anyone from 18 to 118+ can take part if they so wish and they're awarded a place in the ballot or get a place via a charity or good for age qualification.

How long is the London marathon race?

The London marathon is the official standard distance for all official marathons - which is: 

  • 26.2 miles 
  • 42.195 Km

What companies have sponsored the London marathon?

The London marathon has had several main (or title) sponsors over the years. Here is a list in chronological order: 

  • Gillette (1981 to 1983)
  • Mars (1984 to 1988)
  • ADT (1989 to 1992)
  • NutraSweet (1993 to 1995)
  • Flora (1996 to 2009)
  • Virgin Money (2010 to 2020). Initially as Virgin & then Virgin Money from 2013
  • tcs (Tata Consultancy Services) are the current sponsor with a 10 year deal started in 2021

The 2020 London marathon mass start race was cancelled:

Below is a bit of history relating to the cancelled event in 2020 that lead to the initial virtual race and elites only race in October.

The original date for the 2020 London Marathon was Sunday the 26th April.

Unfortunately, due to the global spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) the organisers took the unprecedented step of postponing the race until October and made the official announcement on Friday 13th March.

Two further announcements were made by race director Hugh Brasher on the 19th of June and the 27th of July outlining the intentions to proceed with the event in October.

Finally on the 6th of August the announcement was made to cancel the mass start event and instead hold a 'virtual' race for those runners. However there were still races for the Elites. But they took place in a "secure biosphere" in St James' Park.

The organisers issued some FAQs for anyone who was hoping to take part in the 2020 race.

There was a "Virtual" London Marathon event on the 4th October 2020. Approximately 45,000 runners took part in the virtual race all over the UK and in many other countries around the world.

  • The 2020 London Marathon became an Elites Only race - on Sunday the 4th October
  • The start time for the Mens's Elite race was 10:15am
  • For the men's race both Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele were due to take part. Being touted as quite the duel as they're the only two human's to have completed an official marathon in under 2 hours and 2 minutes! I for one was very keen to watch the event live on the BBC.
  • Unfortunately Bekele had to pull out due to injury so did not take part in the 2020 elites only race. 
  • Kipchoge had an "off day" too and only managed an 8th place finish. Albeit in a very respectable time of 2:06:49. Sadly his unparalleled winning streak was broken. But as disappointed as I'm sure he was, I'm also sure he will bounce back. [Update - I was right, he went on to break his own world record at Berlin Marathon in September 2022. Check out the time and pace here.]
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About the author 

Coach D

Hi, I'm Dave. I'm a UK Athletics qualified and licensed Coach in Running Fitness (CiRF), Endurance Event Group Coach and Certified Running Technique Coach. I coach groups and individuals of all abilities both online and in person.

I particularly enjoy coaching beginner and improver runners in the 40+ age range.

I'm also a regular recreational runner and I've been competing in races from 5k to marathon distance for over 30 years.

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